Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

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Mental Health and Wellbeing

What is Mental Health?

We all have mental health. It is about our feelings, our thinking, our emotions and our moods. Looking after our mental health is important. You can't tell how someone feels just by looking at them from the outside. Sometimes we have thoughts in our head, for example worrying about school. On some days this can seem too much, and we need some support. Sometimes we feel strong and overwhelming feelings, whether happy or sad, but they go away before too long. They don't stop us from doing what we want to in life. These are known as 'Small Feelings’. These feelings still need to be addressed and it is important that we speak about them. Then we have feelings that are strong and overwhelming for a long time that can stop us from doing what we want to in our lives. These are known as 'Big Feelings'. When we experience these 'Big Feelings' it is important that we seek support.


Our Aims as an Academy

With 50% of mental health problems being established by the age of 14, we at Harris Falconwood are determined to support our students and have the clear aims below to ensure our support. 

  • To build a culture of Mental Wellbeing at Harris Academy Falconwood, by promoting positive mental health and wellbeing. 
  • Provide clear guidance to all (Staff and Students) on reporting systems and support networks. 
  • To provide a safe and supportive environment for all students. 
  • To build resilience in students, to help them unlock their full potential. 
  • To provide staff with the necessary training to help them support students with their mental health. 
  • To work effectively with external agencies to ensure the right support is given to students at Harris Academy Falconwood.
  • Treat every person with dignity and respect, in line with our values of Serve, Support, Success.


Support and Interventions

At Harris Academy Falconwood, we ensure that staff are adequately deployed to meet the Mental health needs of our students. Staff receive continuing professional development focused on student mental wellbeing and we are dedicated to improving our mental wellbeing culture. We have a strong pastoral program at the Academy, where each year group has a dedicated Pastoral Lead and a Senior Leadership Team Head of Year. We also have two on site counsellors and a life coach, where students can either be referred for support or even self-refer. 

Mr S Hayes - Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) – Senior Mental Health Lead Trained

Ms A Smith – Designated Safeguarding Lead – Mental Health First Aid Trained*

Miss A Fisher - Pastoral Sixth Form Lead - Mental Health First Aid Trained*

Miss A Whittingham - Pastoral Year 11 Lead - Mental Health First Aid Trained*

Miss D Rais – Pastoral Year 10 Lead - Mental Health First Aid Trained*

Mr J Maile - Pastoral Support Mentor - Mental Health First Aid Trained*

Miss G Moore - Pastoral Year 8 Lead - Mental Health First Aid Trained*

Miss L Waller - Pastoral Year 7 and 9 Lead - Mental Health First Aid Trained*

Mrs S Moore – Counsellor BACP Registered - Mental Health First Aid Trained*

Ms N Adams – Counsellor BACP Registered - Mental Health First Aid Trained*

Mr C Trusch - Life Coach

*Mental health first aiders can spot the signs and respond to the mental and physical health needs of a person experiencing a mental health issue.


Meet our Counsellors and Life Coach

Nicola Adams - Counsellor (BACP Registered)

My name is Nicola Adams, and I am a Counsellor here at HAF. I qualified as a Counsellor in 2008 and am a registered member of BACP. I have worked in a variety of environments including the NHS, HMPS, and the charity sector with a wide range of age groups, and backgrounds. All my working life has been with the aim of making a difference.

Adolescence can be a challenging time for young people, and their parents/carers. Things such as academic pressure and expectations, technology and digital influences, building and maintaining relationships, and sustaining good mental health are just a few of the challenges that young people face in society today. The young people I work with feel there are some challenges that they would like support with. We work together weekly, as a team, to make sense of their world, to understand what is happening, and their reactions to it. We use variety of interventions which are tailored to suit them and their desired outcome. Our work together is regularly reviewed and evaluated.

I am passionate about the work that I do, and to be making a positive difference to the lives of the young people that I work with. BACP use the slogan ‘Counselling changes lives’. Counselling can support young people to thrive and develop to their full potential, and I feel honoured to be a part of that journey.

Sharon Moore - Counsellor (BACP Registered)

Hi, my name Sharon and I am one of the Counsellors here at Harris Academy Falconwood. I have worked in the school environment for 24 years, during which time I have also been a Teaching assistant and Pastoral Support Officer. During my role as a teaching assistant, it soon became apparent that I spent more time outside of the classroom often sitting on the floor, talking to students about their struggles with their mental health. It was at this point I decided to train as a counsellor. After 3 years juggling family, work, and study, I became a qualified BACP registered counsellor in 2008. 

I have never looked back and am passionate helping young people navigate their mental health. Adolescence is tough as they start to discover confusing emotions and feelings. The impact they have on themselves and others. By providing a safe therapeutic environment they can begin to become more self-aware and feel supported in their journey to feel better.

Chris Trusch - Life Coach

My name is Chris and I am a Life Coach working with students at HAF. I have worked with Falconwood students for over 3 years now and am passionate about supporting students in overcoming the daily challenges and barriers they experience as they grow up and learn about adolescent and adult life. I work with students across all year groups from Year 7 to Year 13.

Throughout our lives, we will all need some support and guidance at some point while also developing the skills of resilience, problem solving and reflection. Helping students to develop these skills, think through problems to find solutions and providing a safe environment for students to discuss what is bothering them is what I aim to offer with the hope of helping students become more confident and self-sufficient.


Ways to Support your Mental Health

Below you will find a range of websites and organisations that can offer support with Mental Health

Info for Parents / Carers
Self Care
Anxiety/ Depression / Eating Disorders / Self Harm / Stress
Young Minds
Self Esteem
Child Bereavement
Sleep Problems
Suicide Prevention
Talk to Frank